10 May 2021

No evidence that Pfizer vaccine needs updating for variants, says BioNTech

10 May 2021

There is no evidence the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 needs updating to protect against variants, BioNTech has said.

In its financial and company update report, the German firm said: “To date, there is no evidence that an adaptation of BioNTech’s current Covid-19 vaccine against key identified emerging variants is necessary.”

However, the company said it had developed a “comprehensive strategy” to address any coronavirus variants in the future should the need arise.

It comes after laboratory results and real-life data suggested the vaccine can protect against catching the Covid variants currently in circulation, although less effectively when it comes to some, such as the South African variant.

However, experts believe the jab can still protect against severe disease and hospital admission – a view echoed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca when looking at their own vaccine.

The UK Government has ordered an extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine as part of its plans for a vaccination booster programme this autumn.

It is thought that the most vulnerable groups of people, including the elderly, will be offered another jab before next winter.

The extra order brings the total number of Pfizer doses ordered by the UK to 100 million.

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